News of Gopi Kottamurikkal, former Ernakulam district secretary of CPI(M), who was expelled from primary membership of the party in June last year, participating in the State committee meeting of Kerala Karshaka Sagham last week has set off rumours that Mr. Kottamurikkal is on his way back to party folds.

Mr. Kottamurikkal’s participation in the meeting of Karashaka Sangham, of which he continues to be the treasurer, is a significant development, said a party insider here on Sunday. He said the CPI(M) leadership appeared to be open to the idea of forgetting the past and rehabilitating a loyal veteran, a decision that he said might come under criticism from supporters of Opposition leader V.S. Achuthanandan in the district.

That is what looks certain given the story of Mr. Kottamurikkal’s expulsion from the party last year and events that preceded it.

He was sent out of the party for sexual misdemeanour after an official enquiry committee, headed by party secretariat member and LDF convener Vaikom Viswan, confirmed accusations made by his detractors, who were apparently angered by Mr. Kottamurikkal switching allegiance from the VS faction to the official faction.

Mr. Kottamurikkal came out openly against his detractors, who created video evidence against him.

He called them corrupt, and in a television interview and a public meeting he said that he was done in by his party colleagues in the district.

It appears like a compromise to neutralise Mr. Kottamurikkal, who made public allegations against some of his party colleagues like Chandran Pialli and S. Sarma ahead of his ouster from the party, said Appukkuttan Vallikkunnu, former party ideologue and a critic of the way the party is run now.

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